- Ten Lists of Ten Tips for Digital Filmakers &
Marketing: 10 Shocking Ways to Promote Your Film
By Amy Katz
band of flesh-eating zombies stumbles down the street.
The entrance of the subway looks like a giant butt.
You go into a restaurant restroom to wash your hands,
and red blood gushes out of the soap dispenser, which
has the name of a popular mystery game printed on
This is guerilla marketing in a nutshell. When done
well, it is effective and unforgettable. It is used
to promote products, projects and people, and to get
others to promote them for you. Big
studios can afford to spend millions to advertise
a single film, but you can't. So here are 10 ways
to creatively market your film on a shoestring budget:
Make a scene. Filmmakers dress like Star Wars
characters on a city street to get attention for a
documentary about science fiction fanatics. Pole dancers
climb up street lamps on a busy street corner to promote
a TV show about the exotic arts.
Create psychosis. The Blair Witch Project
is perhaps the most successful film in history to
use what is also called the "Vulcan technique."
The campaign began with an 8-minute trailer posted
online that fooled even seasoned professionals into
thinking three filmmakers had disappeared in the eastern
woods, possibly at the hands of a witch.
Prepare preposterous posters. Driving through
L.A. with her young son, my sister was horrified to
see a skyscraper-sized poster of a serial killer holding
a knife and a smiling baby; she even called City Hall
to ask them to take it down. GM may turn some people
off, but how many gawkers' curiosity was so assaulted,
they tuned in (to "Dexter")?
Bare your breasts (or your tattoos, silly hat, etc.)
Although public nudity is eye-catching, it could land
you in jail. So get even more creative: if your film
is premiering in Chicago in the winter, ear warmers
sporting your film's logo could be the hottest promotional
item in town.
Master social networking. If your film doesn't
have a Facebook page, Twitter account, website and
interactive blog with links to scores of other sites,
it doesn't exist.